John Pembroke

john Pembroke, President and CEO at Credit Union Executives Society
In Memoriam: John Pembroke

As president/CEO of CUES, John Pembroke came full circle in his career. His first exposure to business was a high school internship working in his father’s church credit union. He developed a deep connection to the impact credit unions make on their members’ lives. That experience and being raised by parents with advanced degrees taught him to value education, faith, relationships, and personal growth.  

These values, combined with a progressive mindset, a desire to innovate, and an entrepreneurial spirit, were central to John’s success, allowing him to build a unique brand. Known for driving organizational growth and profitability, he leveraged his diverse business skills, relationship-building expertise, and leadership ability at PSCU, Cox Enterprises, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, and Procter & Gamble.  

Under John’s leadership, CUES membership tripled, member loyalty increased, new and innovative talent development offerings were developed and launched, and the financial condition of the organization was improved. Also, CUES came to be viewed as an industry thought leader in talent development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In addition, he worked with his board to evolve its governance efforts and make DEI a priority throughout the entire organization.  

One of John’s favorite quotes is by Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “Change is the only constant in life.” He lived by this maxim, consistently embracing opportunities to improve himself, his life, and the lives of others. For more than 25 years, he led companies with the same enthusiasm and was a trailblazer in the financial services, technology, consumer products, media, and non-profit industries.  

John held a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Policy Studies from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago.  

Whether watching sports, traveling, spending time with friends and family or enjoying listening to new music—which was something he did every Friday—John considered having fun vital to a full life. He will be missed.  

John is survived by Monica, his wife of 27 years. 

Charitable donations can be made to St. Mark United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL – John Michael Pembroke Memorial Fund.